Stephen Daisley

Stephen Daisley

Stephen Daisley is a Spectator regular and a columnist for the Scottish Daily Mail

The Guardian’s shameful double standards

The Guardian thinks of itself as Britain’s fearless liberal conscience, trigger-sensitive to racist ‘dog whistles’ in the language and editorial judgements of everyone except itself. It takes a special interest in cartoons published by right-of-centre newspapers which are accused of bigotry.  When the Murdoch-owned Herald Sun ran a cartoon depicting Serena Williams throwing a tantrum,

What makes a proper Dracula film?

If Dracula is about anything, he’s about sex. Renfield, in theatres now, is the latest revamp of the Transylvanian bloodsucker mythos, and it is not about sex. In fact, it is a thoroughly sexless movie which might be why, despite some gusto performances and gloriously icky make-up effects, Renfield is a flaccid, directionless affair.  There is an early

Why I love Israel

Israel is marking 75 years of its existence in one of the most difficult peacetime periods the country has ever seen. Peacetime is a relative concept in the Middle East but the past six months have been extraordinarily trying for Israelis and their friends overseas. Benjamin Netanyahu returned to power 16 months after being ousted

China is right to chuckle at Britain’s foreign policy

The Foreign Office has seven ministers, 16,000 employees, an £11bn credit card and one of these days it might get itself a foreign policy. If the trailed excerpts of James Cleverly’s speech to the Lord Mayor’s Easter Banquet are to be believed, the Foreign Secretary will articulate the government’s pivot back towards Beijing. Cleverly will reportedly declare that ‘no significant problem… can be

Scotland should prepare for life after Humza Yousaf

All political careers end in failure but Humza Yousaf has managed to begin his there. Three weeks ago, he clinched the leadership of the SNP in a 52-48 per cent photo finish. Since then, he has deepened divisions within his party by shunning MSPs who failed to support his leadership bid, launched a legal challenge

Stephen Daisley

Coffee House Scots: can Humza save the SNP after treasurer’s arrest?

10 min listen

The arrest of the SNP’s treasurer Colin Beattie in relation to the probe into the party’s finances has overshadowed Humza Yousaf’s relaunch speech scheduled for today. Beattie has been taken into custody two weeks after Peter Murrell, the SNP’s chief executive, was questioned by police regarding loans made in June 2021. Can Yousaf distance himself

Independence is no longer the SNP’s chief concern

Humza Yousaf’s government will be defined by two legacies, Nicola Sturgeon’s and his own as health secretary. The Sturgeon legacy can only be understood by looking at the distance between the previous first minister’s rhetoric and her record. Sturgeon was always heavy on mission statements but light on delivery. During the leadership election, Yousaf initially

Humza Yousaf wants a fight. Good

Westminster is not plotting to steal powers from Holyrood or roll back devolution, contrary to the campfire stories the Scottish establishment likes to scare itself with. In reality, neither Labour nor the Tories are interested in considering what impact Holyrood has had on the Union.  It’s peculiar, given both parties have self-interested reasons for rethinking

Kate Forbes quitting is a nightmare for the SNP

Kate Forbes has reportedly quit the Scottish government after new SNP leader Humza Yousaf offered her the job of rural affairs secretary. Given that Forbes has been finance secretary for the past three years, and a junior finance minister for two years before that, it’s a fairly transparent play: humiliate her into quitting government altogether.  After all,

Coffee House Scots: Humza wins – what’s next?

11 min listen

Humza Yousaf has been announced as the new leader of the SNP after a narrow victory over second placed Kate Forbes. What will this mean for the cause of Scottish independence? Katy Balls speaks to Michael Simmons, Stephen Daisley and Fraser Nelson.  Produced by Oscar Edmondson.

Why Kate Forbes is still the SNP’s best hope

They have thrown everything at Kate Forbes. She has been subjected to a secular inquisition marked by triviality and partiality. Journalism is a trade neither teeming with religious believers nor one well-equipped for Biblical exegesis, and it shows.  ‘Gotcha’ interrogation has focused on scriptural provisions offensive to progressive attitudes pervasive among journalists (e.g. on homosexuality

Don’t rush for tickets on Nicola Sturgeon’s farewell tour

Nicola Sturgeon’s valedictory address to the RSA was her ‘And now we turn to the liars…’ speech. The outgoing SNP leader’s remarks were nominally about inequality and climate change but she was really there to talk about the distorting impact of social media on democratic politics. Given her departure was possibly hastened by the pushback

The whole SNP project is now in danger

And so the Nicola Sturgeon years end with neither a bang or a whimper but with one pitiful desk-clearing after another. Peter Murrell, Sturgeon’s husband and the chief executive of the SNP, has announced his resignation. It comes after Murray Foote, the party’s chief spin doctor, walked on Friday. He had been rubbishing media reports

Jeremy Hunt’s war on Scotch whisky is bad politics

The Chancellor’s decision to slap a ten per cent duty hike on Scotch whisky is bad economics. Exports broke the £6 billion mark last year and the industry employs 11,000 people in Scotland while supporting 42,000 jobs across the UK. But whisky is a luxury item in a competitive global market where increases in retail price impact

Stephen Daisley

Kate Forbes is a terrifying prospect for Unionists

If you believe in the United Kingdom, it’s hard not to revel in the bitter infighting occasioned by the contest to replace Nicola Sturgeon. Senior SNP ministers are monstering one another on TV, trashing their government’s record and talking about sacking their rivals if they win. After 16 years of iron discipline, which helped them

Gary Lineker was always going to win against the BBC

The BBC’s decision to back down and allow Gary Lineker to return to presenting is a welcome conclusion to a weekend of extreme silliness. In withdrawing the Match of the Day presenter from the airwaves over a crass and stupid tweet in which Lineker compared the government’s rhetoric on illegal migration to that of 1930s

The BBC shouldn’t have taken Gary Lineker off air

The BBC’s decision to take Gary Lineker off the air is the sort of self-harming stupidity at which the Corporation excels. The Match of the Day presenter tweeted that the Illegal Migration Bill was ‘an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people’ and done ‘in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the